Investors duped out of millions of dollars in fake cryptocurrency scam.

Between 2015 and 2017, OneCoin was promoted as a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, and was claimed to be the second largest cryptocurrency available. This cryptocurrency was promoted by companies OneCoin Ltd in Dubai, and OneLife Netword Ltd, in Belize. Both companies were owned by Bulgarian national Ruja Ignatova. The companies held recruitment rallies and recruited [...]

Fake millionaire convicted for online pyramid scam.

Lee McKenna operated multiple schemes that promised significant earnings to customers. Customers were required to pay a small subscription fee to join McKenna’s membership and were subsequently pressured into introducing others to the scheme. Initially, customers registered for a “boot camp”, during which they were shown training videos that explained how to set up [...]

Pyramid scheme—convicted couple found in Florida.

In 1996, Martha and David Crowe were convicted of using their company, Gold Unlimited Inc. (Gold), to dupe 96,000 Americans and Canadians out of millions of dollars in an investment scam. Gold operated an illegal pyramid scheme. The court argued that the defendants operated a “scheme or artifice to defraud” under the mail fraud [...]

Vietnamese Pyramid Scam—almost 67,000 people lose $88 million.

Almost 67,000 people fell victim to a Vietnamese multi-level marketing scam, with combined losses of over 2 trillion Vietnamese dong ($88.4 million). Lien Ket Viet was founded by Le Xuan Giang, who organized events to gain the trust of his clients and potential investors, and to build a good reputation for him and his [...]

Canada deports multi-level marketing promoter to the UK.

Alan Kippax Alan Kippax moved from the UK to Canada when he was two-years-old. In his adult life, he launched Treasure Traders International (TTI). TTI traded in emeralds, sapphires, rubies and travel packages. Kippax claimed that the organization made $34 million in year one. This was not, however, reported in any official financial publications, [...]

Herbalife ordered to reimburse 350,000 victims of its multi-level marketing scheme.

Herbalife sells nutritional supplements, and operates one of the world’s largest multi-level marketing schemes. In 2015, the company made $4.5 billion through supplement sales. In the early 1980s, Herbalife was accused of overstating the health benefits of its products. Herbalife distributors are pressured into bulk-buying products that they must then sell on. According to [...]

First recorded mass fraud event.

1899; William "520 Percent" Miller opened for business as the "Franklin Syndicate" in Brooklyn, New York. Miller promised 10% a week interest and exploited some of the main themes of Ponzi schemes such as customers re-investing the interest they made. He defrauded buyers out of about $1 million and was sentenced to 10 years [...]

Ponzi type mass fraud scheme targets investors globally.

Robert Allen Stanford was an American financier and professional sports backer until he the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) caught up with him in early 2009 and accused him of running a "massive Ponzi scheme" through the Texas-based Stanford Financial Group. His chief aide, James M. Davis, also was accused. No kudos here [...]

Charles “Bernie” Madoff.

Methodology: US officials allege that Madoff was engaged in a mathematical mass fraud scheme (as used by Charles Ponzi) using revenues from new investors to meet payments due to existing investors. The scheme collapsed when multiple clients requested around $7 billion in redemptions. A run on funds because the rumors had started again - [...]